Amidst racial violence, there are things that NVC can offer. And there are places where NVC culture needs to be more vigilant. Here are examples of where, amidst incredible loss and pain, "allies" and communities commonly (and often unknowingly) create false equivalences, minimization and re-injure those who've been historically marginalized -- even when they offer empathy, or aim to stay "safe". Read on to cultivate greater understanding and ways to respond differently.
The existing unequal risks and impacts people of certain race, class and identities face in society is magnified in these strenuous times -- especially with things such as illness, financial well being, discrimination, attacks, and death. As responsive NVC practitioners we can stand in solidarity with those who are differentially impacted. Read on for this, and additional ways to spot common pitfalls of doing so.
It’s essential to give ourselves time to grapple with the complex feelings surrounding the brutality of state-sanctioned racism and violence. But if all we do is reflect and attend to our emotions we fail to show up, where and when it counts. So let's not perpetuate the violence by standing idly. Instead, here's ten things you can do to move into concrete action to address the continued, untenable, and horrific violence of racism. A list of resources is included.
Our world trains us to think in terms of providing for everyone’s needs because they deserve it, earned it, or they possess the resources -- it's fair, socially just, supports equality or because people have rights. Instead, can we step outside this worldview to look at providing for everyone’s needs because those needs exist -- can we hold this basic reverence for life? Are we able to have a needs-based dialogue when such a reframe could alienate those who live in the worldview of earn/deserve?
Even in the pandemic the line between what’s essential for people and what is “essential” for fueling the economy, often gets confused. Capitalist market economies actively undermine attending to needs for the many and for life as a whole. Economic recovery is a mirage leading to continued collective oppression. This article explores possible ways to bring us closer to attending to our actual needs — and caring for self, others and life.
Human health is connected to health of ecosystems and other societies. Our wellness and liberation is found in our interconnection, kinship, reverence for life, and solidarity. Solidarity erodes through narratives, practices and policies that separate us from each other -- and this impacts societal functioning. The breakdown creates conditions for pandemic, racism, police brutality, exploitation in untold numbers, and extinction. Read on for how all is connected.
Working for racial justice is a shift in perspective—a shift in understanding and empathy that leads to a change in our actions: to listen instead of talk, to follow instead of lead, to yield rather than dominate. And to accept that I will continue to mess up. Part of working to undo racism is having the humility to know when our own understanding is limited. Read on for more this, and how it relates to meditation -- plus personal and collective liberation.
What do we actually mean by “use of force” and what counts as such? Here's a template that will be unpacked in this article: "Use of force is consistent with nonviolence to the extent that we use the least amount of force possible, with the most love possible, aiming at (re)creating conditions for dialogue; that we make the choice using as much nonreactive discernment as possible, with as much support for the choice as possible, and while mourning not seeing another way to respond to a situation in which vital needs are at stake except to use force". Read on for more.
"All humans share the same needs" -- tragically, this idea can hide the reality that some people with less power in society have needs that go unmet to a greater extent, much longer, and with more dire consequences. Often, when the marginalized bring up experiences related to their membership in a certain group, their pain isn't acknowledged, and focus shifts to the listener's discomfort. The concept of universal human needs can be used to silence and minimize their pain. Read on for how to proceed.
Conflict is normal and natural and yet we are still often surprised by it and unprepared to deal with it. You will come away from this session with the tools for creating simple agreements with your group about what to do when conflict arises.